Day 1: Drive Kathmandu to Zhangmu (altitude - 2300 m/7,544 ft)
5 hour drive to Kodari (China/Nepal border) then onto Zhangmu. On the drive, you will see a variety of landscapes and mountains views as you pass through Nepal to Tibet. As well as the scenery, the Nepali and Tibetan market center of Khasa is of interest. Overnight: Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 2: Zhangmu - Xegar (altitude - 4050 m/13,284 ft). Drive from Zhangmu to Naylam through the Nylam passes at 3800 m and continue via Lalungla pass (5050 m/16,564 ft) to Xegar. Highlights of this drive are the views of the Bhotekosi River deep in the valley, waterfalls and the ever-present spectacular mountain scenery. Here you will see the Jugal mountain range, Mt. Xixapangma (at 8013 m/26,282 ft, the highest peak in Tibet), Mt. Makalu (8463 m/ 27,766 ft), Mt. Everest (8848 m/29,028 ft), Mt. Lhotse (8516 m/27,940 ft) and Mt. Cho-Oyu (8201 m/26,899 ft). Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Xegar - Xigatse (altitude - 3900 m/12,792 ft). This area is famous for the Tashilhunpo and Sakya monasteries. The Tashilhunpo Monastery does justice to the term monastic city. It was founded in 1447 by Tsong Khapa's nephew and disciple, Gendundrub, who was the first Dalai Lama. Under the fourth Panchen Lama, it was substantially enlarged and became an important cultural and religious site. The main chapel contains a huge, 26 meter-high statute of the future Buddha. The monastery is grandly decorated with arts, ancient scriptures and scroll paintings.
The Sakya monastery originally consisted of two large complexes on either side of the Trum River. Both the north monastery, founded in the 11th century and Sakya south, founded in 1268 by Phagpa, have uniquely significant status with Tibetan pilgrims. The monastery offers you libraries of spiritual books as well as artwork and a chance to see the grand residence of the monks. Overnight: Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Xigatse - Gyantse (altitude - 3950 m/12,956 ft). Gyantse, lying 264 km southwest of Lhasa on the northern bank of the Nyang Chu River, is of historical significance. In the 15th century it served as the capital of a small kingdom. Today, Gyantse retains a deeply Tibetan character. The principle structures consist of a castle on a ridge overlooking the town and a walled monastic complex. The monastery includes the massive temple of Palkhor Chode and the great multi-chapel Kumbum Chorten. These religious monuments, part of Gyantse's ancient monastic town, contain some of the most extraordinary works of art in Tibet. Overnight at the hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Gyantse - Lhasa (altitude - 3650 m/ 11,972 ft). Drive from Gyantse through Karo -la pass at 5010 meters (16,432 ft) and onto the Khambala pass at 4794 meters (15,729 ft). The former climbs two lofty mountains, the Nozing khang sa (7223 m/23,691 ft) and the Ralung (6236 m/20,454 ft). Today you will also see the wonderful Yamdrok Tso Lake (turquoise lake) and the Brahmaputra River as well as the ever-present views of the interesting and unusual landscape. Spend the night in a guesthouse or hotel in Lhasa. Overnight at Hotel. Includes: (B).
Days 6-7: Lhasa. These days you will be engrossed with sightseeing and excursions of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the near-by Barkhor market, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and other fascinating places in Lhasa. Overnight: Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Lhasa - Gonggar airport - Kathmandu. 96 km drive from Lhasa city to Gonggar airport, then flight to Kathmandu. The flight will give you an eyeful of mountains; Mt Kanchenjunga (8586 m/28,169 ft), Mt. Everest (8848 m/29.028 ft), Mt. Makalu (8463 m/ 27,766 ft) and others. Overnight: Hotel. Includes: (B).
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